When you find something great, you want to share it with the world. We share announcements about big sales, post pictures of our families, and tell others about our passions.
My granddaughter is a year old, and my wife and I cannot stop sharing pictures of her on social media.
But, when it comes to sharing Jesus with others, many freeze. We get nervous about sharing our faith and inviting people to church.
As Jesus followers, not only should we share Him out of love and because we’re commanded to, but we also should share the Good News because it saves people from sin and death.
The Great Commission says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Matthew 28:19-20
However, “go and make disciples” does not mean we just shout our love for Jesus. It means we should introduce others to Christ and then disciple/teach them.
The problem is many don’t know how to disciple new believers. However, if you invite someone to church, you can introduce them to people, groups, and resources that will help.
It is through church worship, fellowship, and Bible studies that we grow in our faith.
Since it is important for people to attend church to grow in their faith, it is important for us to take steps to invite them.
To help you feel more comfortable inviting others to church, we’re going to focus on what it means to invest and invite.
What Does It Mean to Invest?
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
– 1 Peter 4:8-9
When you invest in anything, it means you give of your time, resources, love, and energy. Before you invite someone to church, invest in a relationship with the individual. Spend time getting to know the person.
You have shown him or her that you genuinely care. Think about it this way – wouldn’t you be more likely to say “yes” to an invitation if it came from someone you called a friend? Investing means being a friend.
“While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
– Mark 2:15-17
We are called to share Jesus with others, but many think we don’t have anyone with whom to share Jesus. We think the people in our inner circle already know Him.
If this is true for you, befriend those who are different from you and who don’t call themselves Christians. It’s what Jesus did.
Start by considering your circle of influence – those in your home moving outward. Who do you regularly encounter where you could be intentional about in building a relationship? Family members? Neighbors? Work colleagues?
Extend an Invitation
Now that we have discussed the importance of investing in people before inviting them to church, let’s talk about how to invite.
- A General, Open-ended Invitation – Keep it casual by extending a simple, open-ended invitation.
“Hey! I attend South Bay Bible Church. I’d love for you to join me sometime. Would you like to come with me?”
If you extend this type of general invitation, you may have to wait patiently for the person to take you up on it, and you may have to extend the invitation more than once. That’s okay!
- A Particular Sermon Series – Many pastors do sermon series focusing on a particular theme. This is where investing is important. If you have a relationship, you will have an idea about which sermon series would peek your friend’s interests or meet his or her needs.
- A Special Occasion – Many people find it easier to invite others to church for a special occasion such as an event or a religious holiday like Easter or Christmas. Many church outsiders find it easier to attend a church for one of these special occasions than a regular Sunday morning service.
- When They Give You a Reason – Again, this is where it is helpful to invest in relationships. When we are friends, we know what they’re going through and when a natural invitation would be right. Similarly, through conversation, we listen for cues that they’re ready to give church a try.
How to Extend an Invitation
Once you feel like the time is right to extend an invitation to your friend, there are many easy ways to do it.
- Just ask! The simplest way to invite someone is to just ask. This can mean face-to-face, through a text message, or via email.
- Use church invite cards. South Bay has church invite cards for members to use. These cards are small and contain the basics such as the address and service times.
- Post on social media. Consider posting an open invite on your Facebook page. Tag those you are in a relationship with on church posts, or create a Facebook event for a church meetup inviting those in your circle of influence.
What Happens Next
Don’t forget – your job doesn’t stop when your friend accepts the invitation to church. Instead, you should continue investing in the relationship and the individual’s growing faith. Make sure the first time your friend visits, you welcome him/her, show him/her around, explain what to expect, and introduce him/her to other church members. And, pray!